Many people ask me-
“Batya, why rescue dogs and cats? Why not farm animals? Farm animals are sentient beings with socioemotional needs too!”
Well, let’s unpack that. It is true that dogs and cats are social creatures and are joined by many other animals in the animal kingdom, such as cows, who are known to have best friends. I simply don’t have as strong of a relationship with farm animals. I only know dogs and cats and therefore, have made them the special population I’ve chosen to help. I have no issue with people saving farm animals and in fact, I think sanctuaries for farm animals are amazing, healing places for these animals who were never shown any kindness.
U.S. animal shelters are packed to the brim with dogs and cats in need of good homes. The lucky dogs and cats that do have great homes are sometimes babied, dressed in sweaters, have their portraits done, are given treats, and are taken to dog parks to run around with their fellow dogs. I guess the simple answer is that our pets have become a crucial part of the family unit. They live in our homes, sleep in our beds with us, veg out on the couch, and play ball with us in our backyards. They are a huge part of our lives, and our daily routines.
There are multiple reasons for this. They live in our homes, they see everything that we do and have access to our most private moments; they see us at our most raw and vulnerable states and even have the ability to comfort us in those moments.
Personally, I have done a lot of emotional healing from having companion animals, like dogs and cats, around me and I owe a lot to them. They were and are able to help me in ways people could not.
Whether you have a pet duck, pig, or dog, we create incredible bonds with our pets. Our bonds with animals are so strong, in fact, that researchers have discovered that it is possible we grieve our beloved pets' deaths more than our people.
“Why aren’t you a vegetarian?”
I ask myself this a lot too. The fact is that it is a difficult habit to break and although I have tried a few times to be vegan/vegetarian, it hasn’t been successful. Do I feel guilty sometimes when I am conscious of the meat I am eating? Yes. Are there quality plant-based substitutes to animal products such as milk, butter, and beef? Definitely. My answer is that I struggle with this and am exploring different options in case I do decide to go this route. For now, I hope to keep supporting places like Grow and Behold, and to limit the animal products I do consume. I’ll continue to learn about the farming industry and best practices and how to adopt a plant heavy diet.
“How did you learn about the dog and cat meat trade?”
I learned about it a long time ago, by reading articles on global news and events. It had made a huge impression on me and for years, I dreamed of adopting an animal from the trade, and I still do!
Well, there you have it. The answers to the questions that you may have been wondering. As always, if you have any more, feel free to shoot me a message at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to get back to you.